Staff walked out of her bedroom a few days after everyone had gotten home from Mars, blushing heavily when she saw her two targets in the lounge. "Can I talk to you two?" she hissed. Vinnie turned off the tv and Xander put down his explosives manual, both of them looking at her. She blushed brighter. "Oh," she moaned, holding her head. She sat down between the two on the end of the couch. "I need some advice."
"Sure, sweetheart," Vinnie promised. "You're Modo's lady, anything for my bro and his lady." Xander nodded at that, leaning forward.
She swallowed and looked at them. "I don't want to be naughty or anything, but I need some advice," she offered, looking really unsure of herself.
"What part of sex did you want helped with?" Xander asked quietly, patting her on the arm. "We've pretty well done it all between us, Staff."
She blushed bright red and nodded. "I know. That's why I came to you. I don't think I could ask Charley or...or Dawn. It's embarrassing."
"He gives Charley wicked ideas anyway," Vinnie assured her, beaming at Xander. Then he looked at her. "Okay, so naughty? Are we talking like tailing, or something more kinky?" She looked shocked. "Okay, or less naughty."
"Um, oral stuff," she whispered, then covered her face with her hands, leaning forward. "I can't believe I'm asking."
Xander patted her on the back, moving over to sit next to her, shifting her so she was between them. "Listen, Staff, it's not that naughty."
"It is for me," she wailed, looking at him. "I've never been that naughty and he likes to be the one in control and he didn't even really want me to touch him."
"The cure to that is a nap," Vinnie told her. She looked confused.
"Waking him up," Xander added, making her blush and nod. "You need to calm down or else your cheeks will never unblush, honey." He patted her on the back. "All right, the first thing you'll want to do is explore a bit. Everyone's a bit different. That's a big bundle of nerves, just like your spot is."
"Martian women don't have a clit, they have an internal spot," Vinnie told him.
"Oh. Damn, that's no fun." He shrugged. "Okay, so it's like that spot inside, only stretched out." She nodded at that, turning to look at him. Vinnie started working on her shoulders to keep her calm. "That sort of thing isn't just oral. It's also touching, teasing, tasting, and sucking. So go down and look at it, touch it a bit. Then take a few licks. It'll probably drive him nuts. And the first time he grabs you by the hair, forcefully make him grab the bed instead. Hair pulling is accidental but it hurts, a lot." She nodded quickly, letting out a little moan. "When you're ready, just start small. Do the top. Get comfortable with it. By the way, your jaw will hurt, trust me." Vinnie nodded at that. "Especially with a guy his size." She blushed down her neck and onto her chest. "Sorry. Would you rather I show you with an impractical demonstration?"
"Huh?" she squeaked.
"I can imagine a human one and the same things, showing it you, sweetie."
She shook her head. "No thanks. I'd rather not. That's a bit too naughty for me."
"Sure," he agreed, patting her on the arm. "Okay, so you're tasting, you're playing with it. It's a great big sensitive toy. Like a giant sucker or a giant freezer pop. Like the ones on the sticks. You know how you move those in to get more?" She nodded, getting that. "Same thing, only you can go past that gag spot of yours."
"How would you breathe?" she hissed.
"As you're inhaling, but before he gets that deep," Xander said patiently. "Then exhale as he's pulling back. That way you don't choke and it's easier."
Vinnie nodded. "That's not my best art. I have trouble with my gag reflex unless I've been drinking cold stuff first."
"There's the neat idea of using an oral anesthetic," Xander offered.
"That cuts off some of the sensation," Vinnie said, shaking his head. "Not worth it. Besides, the cold teases them too." He went back to work on her shoulders. "Now, if you get that far, and don't worry if you don't. Modo's a really big guy and you might not be able to handle him that far." She covered her face again but she nodded. "So just concentrate on what you can do and play with the rest. Remember, your tongue is a good thing as well."
She looked at them, shifting to look at Vinnie. "Is that all?" They both nodded. "And I should just wake him up from a nap that way?"
"That's one of Throttle's favorite ways to wake up," Xander assured her. "Then he usually has to take another nap," he offered smugly. She blushed down her chest and onto her shoulders and upper arms. "Where is he now?"
"Out for a ride," she whispered, looking around the empty house. She cleared her throat. "What about the antenna thing?"
"They're very sensitive," Vinnie reminded her. "Have you ever hit yours with your brush?" She nodded, rubbing one. "Good girl. Now imagine Modo doing that to you." Her blush went further down her arms and disappeared under her top. He patted her on the back. "It's all right. They're very sensitive. You can touch them, tease them, or just lick them. Charley and Xander both like to suck and lick on them."
"I like tails too," Xander said smugly. "Also a good spot to play with. There's that spot at the base and the whole thing is like a great big penis in it's own right," he told her. The blush was now dark red. "Honey, calm down. You won't have blood in your veins soon." She giggled, sounding a bit hysterical. "Just try stroking either one gently. Use your fingertips. Remember, all three are very sensitive. All you have to do is give the lightest of touches and they respond. Anything more than that and it's a bit painful, like your comb." She nodded at that. "Anything else we can help with?"
"When do you think a good time is?" she asked quietly.
"Whenever you're ready and he's ready," Vinnie told her.
"He stopped me from touching it."
Vinnie raised an eyebrow. Then he put an arm around her shoulders. "Staff, when we were younger, back during our training days, we used to club a lot. Even Modo. Now, his momma told him to be a nice boy one too many times so he wasn't as wild as Throttle and I were, or even some of the other cadets, but he's had some fairly wild things happen when he was younger. I can assure you he wants you to be a good girl and stay that way. All you have to do is come up with a good reason and he'll let you."
"Tell him you want to experiment, just the once, and that it's still a good girl thing since you're together. What made them naughty was the number of boys or that they got paid for it but that you wanted to try this once with him to make him be a bit naughty himself. Offer to let him do anything he wants if he'll let you try it that once. Either that or tell him you wanted a slightly naughty day and that you're in charge so he has to lay there and take it and just moan for now. Tell him you got the idea off Oprah." He heard a bike outside. "Either that's Micah or Modo. They've got the same size engine." He looked at her and grinned. "Calm down, before he sees the blush and guesses at your surprise." She nodded, forcing herself to calm down. "Now, go kiss your man hello and make him a happy stud."
She blushed again and hurried down to the garage, kissing him. "Hi."
"Why are you blushing?"
"Xander told me to come make my stud happy," she offered with a blush.
"Ah." He grinned at her. "I'd hope you were here to kiss me instead." She swatted at him. "What?" he asked innocently.
"You are a stud, Modo. A very big one. Is Lil' Hoss all right?"
"Sure, babe. I was just taking her out for some sun. Want to go for a ride?"
"Please?" She grabbed her helmet off the rack and got on behind him, wrapping her arms around him. This would take some careful planning but she could do that. She was a sneaky female mouse. Cell had assured her she could be with a bit of effort.
Upstairs, Vinnie was making Xander laugh. "Seriously! She did, the whole tail. I guess she had something to coat her stomach, but she did the whole tail. All the way to the root."
"I'm good but I'm not that good," Xander said in awe.
"Me either. I guess it's not so bad the first foot or so, but then there's too much."
Xander nodded. "Way too much, especially if it stretches." He shivered. "I'll have to figure out how she did that later. You think she'll be okay?"
"She'll be fine," Vinnie assured him with a grin. "She'll make him let her. Modo won't let his lady turn into you or I, but he will let her be a bit naughty now and then. He's always been one of those 'one position, under the covers' guys. Even back in his wilder days."
Xander nodded, sighing a bit. "I know people like that. I always want to spice things up for them." He shrugged. "Hopefully she'll do okay. The big guy deserves it." He grinned at him. "I'll have to tell her where we put the spare sheets."
"I already did," he promised. "I didn't tell her what you got her though. Those cream colored satin ones will look great under her." Xander nodded at that. "We've got to get them a special dinner that night too."
"When one of us hears them, we'll do a picnic for them," Xander offered. Vinnie beamed and nodded. "Since I'm not leaving for a while, it won't be that hard to catch when they do it." He heard the bike returning. "Already?" He got up and headed down the ramp, frowning at Micah as he rode in. "What're you doing here?"
"How are the refugees?"
"We still ran out of stuff but it was on the last batch," he admitted. "They had about a thousand refugees." Micah shuddered at that. "Mostly starved and abuse and neglect injuries. The last one got operated on yesterday and everyone's starting to settle in. Thanks for the help."
"You're welcome." He took off his helmet and shook out his hair. "How are you, kid?" Xander held up his hand. "What's that?"
"A second degree burn." He looked at the dirty bandage. "It's time to change it anyway if you wanted to see." He headed back to Enamel's room, tapping gently. Enamel grunted so he stuck his head in. "The bandage is dirty. Did you want to look at it before I changed it? Micah's here."
"Sure. Give me a minute." He rolled off the bed and looked down at his shirtless state. "I'm good enough," he decided.
"The bros wear about the same thing," he agreed with a small grin. "Come on. Everything's still upstairs."
"Sure." He followed Xander up, nodding at Micah. "How's my place?"
"You need to pay the rent," he said, handing over the eviction notice he had found. "Today."
"Damn it. I thought it was on autodraw." He groaned and sat down. "I'll head to the bank after this." He sat down in front of Xander. "Okay, Vincent, let's work on your bandaging skills again." He heard little feet and looked back as Racer came hopping out of the library. "Hey, squirt."
"Can I help?"
"Burns are really nasty looking," Vinnie told him.
"So? I saw some in the textbooks." He sat on Enamel's lap, taking Xander's hand to look at it. "I cut the tape, right?" Enamel nodded. So he carefully picked up the bandage scissors and cut the top layer of tape off. Then he slowly unwound it, dropping it onto the table beside them. "It's sticky."
"It can do that. That's lymph fluid," Micah told him. He went to get some sterile water from the basket in the corner, handing it over. "Soak it down, that helps."
"You were a medic?"
"First aid training for field agents," Micah admitted. "It's a bit more advanced." He took the hand to hold while Racer squirted water all over it and down onto the rug and down Xander's arm. "That should be good, Racer." He peeled off the remaining bandages, listening to Xander hiss. "What did this? A stun rod?" That got a nod. "Damn." He looked at the burn once it was uncovered.
"Eww," Racer said. "That's very icky looking. Anya and Dawn would say grossening and ickacious."
Enamel patted him on the back. "We warned you, kid." He looked. "It's not too bad. That's mostly scar tissue forming. Go ahead and bend his fingers a few times, Micah." He did so and Xander hissed again. "Looks like it's time to start using those fingers. We'll wrap it lightly and let you start some mild PT for it, Xander." Xander sighed and nodded. "Nothing too bad. Squeezy ball stuff for now." He looked at it, tipping his head. "Tip it into the light." Micah did so. "Yeah, that'll be fine. Okay, go ahead and spread some new cream and let's wrap it gently."
"Sure," Racer agreed, picking up the cream and opening it. "Do I squirt it on him and then rub, or do I put it on my fingers and then rub?"
"Put it on your fingers with something this delicate."
"Shouldn't he have on gloves?"
"We don't have many of those on Mars and less than half the diseases you've got that can be caught that way," Enamel assured him. "Good thought though. Racer, down here, you would normally be doing that with gloves. That would protect you from any nasty germs infecting you and protect your patient from any you might carry." That got a nod as the boy rubbed the cream in. "Just coat it, kid, it's not wax for your bike." Racer nodded and left it at that. "Get the joints too." He went back to get those then put the tube down and picked up the new roll of sterile bandages. He started to bite it open but Enamel coughed so he picked up the scissors and opened it with a shy grin for him. "Good job." He watched as the kid wrapped it. "Around, Racer." He wrapped it around the base of the thumb this time. "Now under." He nodded. "Good job! Now tape it down and cut the excess." Racer carefully did that and then taped down the hanging edge he had created. "Excellent job. I'd give you a hug but I can't."
"I can," Vinnie said, pulling him into his lap. "Good job, Racer. You'll be one of the best docs some day soon." Racer beamed at him and got down to put everything back up, then got back in the lap to cuddle some more.
Micah grinned at Xander. "So, how long before you can get back to work?" Xander pointed at Enamel. "When?"
"Maybe six more weeks, if he's lucky and nothing happens and he's got strength and function back," he offered. "Possibly eight."
"That's fine. There's temporary disability insurance through work. I'm getting my first check this week," Xander told him. "We can live on it." He looked at Racer. "When did Spike come and then leave?"
"Yesterday." He beamed at him. "You were napping like an old mouse."
"I was," Xander agreed as Vinnie laughed. "I had a tiring day. I had to go do paperwork for the insurance." He looked at Micah. "The shiv wound is now closed and the graze is long gone."
"Good. I'm glad. Now, what happened? I only got a partial report from Max and Dawn's made *no* sense."
"They found my father alive. He was committed for being mentally incompetent. The facility called you guys to get me out there. Lorne ended up calling Oz since I hadn't answered his email in a while. Oz told me, I flew out the next day. Oh, did he tell you it's a baby Oz?" He shook his head so Xander grinned. "It is, it's a boy." He lost his grin. "I got out there, went to see the dirtbag. Same old same old, only without the liquor this time. He was paid to get me out there. I'm guessing Wolfram and Hart but I can't be sure. They tried to get me in the hospital so it could just be a happy coincidence. He had a blaster, I got a graze as I ducked and took it away from him. He pulled a shiv and got me on my side. They got him restrained. The administrator took me back to the office to shake me down for money. They wanted ten grand a month to keep him there. I told him I didn't have the money anymore and went outside to think for a bit.
"Once out there, I called home to talk to Throttle and Vinnie. I saw someone being attacked and pounced him to save the person from the patient. A cop came over to yell at me for it. I talked to him about my options since he had just tried to kill me. He said my father was already committed, they would just move him to a higher facility for this. My father ran out with a stun rod after one of the guards. I stepped in to stop him. The cop tried to help, my father tried to snap his neck by kicking him. I grabbed the rod to stop him from using it on me, then another to summon it and turn it off before he could grab it again. I took the cop's cuffs to subdue him. I got him cuffed, then the paramedic came in to start working on the cop since I had yelled about it." He shrugged. "I flew home to handle the situation here and help Throttle heal."
"Where he was a bastard in the hospital and ignored his own wounds for hours on end," Vinnie finished. "The nurse had to get forceful with him when Vecchio noticed the darker stain on his black t-shirt from the stab wound and his hand. They ended up bandaging it for him. Someone from Wolfram and Hart tried to snatch him the next morning after sedating him."
"She was?" Enamel asked. Vinnie nodded. "Huh. I didn't think she was."
"Yeah, docs down here don't move their own patients unless it's an emergency," Vinnie told him. "That's what orderlies are for."
"Ah." He nodded. "I followed her down to check his hand. It wasn't that bad and I advised her to cream and bandage it for me. Then we went back up to check on Throttle and Xander's back since he was still asleep."
"You slept through that?" Micah asked.
"She sedated me."
"Oh, wonderful." He shook his head. "Fine, can you do a report?"
"Dawn has a more coherent one that I dictated but she's in class."
"Fine. You're expected to be back to top form, right?"
"He is," Enamel agreed. "Guys, I've got to hit the bank."
"Want a ride?" Vinnie asked.
"No, I can ride my own girl. She knows the way. I have no idea how to explain this to them."
"Easy. You tell them you've had an injury to your back," Xander told him. "Or your neck. It's temporarily causing muscle paralysis." He shrugged. "Then you have them help you back onto your bike again at the end and put your hands back on your handlebars. You go pay the landlord." Enamel nodded at that. "We can escort you if you wanted."
"No, I'll be fine. Thanks though." He got up and headed down there, letting Racer follow him and put his hands on his handlebars for him. "Okay, girl, let's start up," he ordered. She started, purring at him. "Good girl. I can't drive so you'll have to go on voice input." She beeped. "No, I'm still in bad shape but we've got to hit the bank and then the apartment for a few hours." She beeped twice and started out of the garage. "Okay, turn right onto the street. We're heading to the place with the awkward parking lot." The bike beeped and headed that way. It knew the bank, a bit. He walked inside once they got there and he had parked. He looked at the guard. "The customer service desk?" He pointed. "Thank you. The bike's mine." He headed that way, looking at the register to sign in. Then he looked at the secretary, giving her a pitiful smile. "I've recently had a severe neck injury. I can't use my hands." She came over to sign him in. "Thank you, ma'am."
"You're welcome, sir. Sit down, it'll only be a few minutes," she offered with a smile. "Do you need anything?"
"Two working hands," he said honestly. "They said another five months and I'd have 'em back but not yet."
She cooed and patted him on the shoulder, then headed back to her desk. They knew about him, but they didn't gossip about him. They figured he had some horrible birth defect to have the tail and fur.
One of the reps came out and smiled at him. "Enamel, right this way." She watched him struggle to get up and came over to help him. "What happened?"
"A neck injury. I can't use my hands or arms," he admitted, following her to her office. "Um, paper, my back pocket?" he offered. She took it out and sighed, then nodded. "It's a bad thing with how I am right now."
"I understand," she promised, sitting down behind her desk. "Let me pull up your account." She pulled it up by name, no one remembered their account numbers these days, and looked it over. "Well, I see you've got more than enough in checking, barely. That investment of yours is really paying off as well."
"I should have recently gotten about two million from my overseas bank."
She tapped a few keys then nodded. "We have it on hold. It looked like a hacker to us and we're very careful about such things." She looked at him. "The Bank of Meg?"
He smirked. "It's an online account. That's her handle. She does it for me most of the time. Go ahead and let that through." She nodded and took the hold off. "Thank you. Can you cut a cashier's check for that?" She nodded, smiling at him. "Good. Can we set up something about my utilities?"
"You already have those listed. Let me call this number on here and see if we can set up an autodraft with your landlord. That way you don't have to deal with this until you're better." He nodded, grinning at that. She grinned back, it was infectious. "I heard you had a girl, how is she?" she asked as she dialed.
"Pregnant," he said dryly. "I found out the day I got home from being held hostage by the people who were watching the effects."
She clicked her tongue. "Oh, yes, is this Mr. Holloway? No, this is Natalie Persher down at National Bank, sir. I handle the accounts for one Enamel ...." She smiled. "No, sir, he's here with me right now. He's had a horrible injury to his hands and arms. He can't use them. So we're going to cut you a cashier's check today for the full amount due plus his current and next month's rent, then set up an autodraft. Would that be all right?" She grimaced. "Well it can be mailed if we have an address. Yes, our system will do that still. Of course." She wrote down the address and typed it into the computer from her notes. "That's apartment E, correct?" She smiled. "Thank you for being so understanding. No, I believe he's staying with friends. No, horrible really. Thank you for being so understanding and I'll send that cashier's check over today for you, sir. The same address?" She smiled. "Of course. Thank you. No, it's a pleasure doing business with you." She hung up. "Slime bag. By the way, your rent was just raised," she told him, going back to fixing that autodraft while he chuckled. "It's another hundred a month by what he quoted me."
"That's fine. I'd move but it's a pain in the tail at the moment."
"They have these wonderful movers," she offered with a smile. "I used some myself. They're expensive, but they can even pack for you."
"Yeah, but with Shell being pregnant, it's probably a bad time. She likes the view and the bathroom."
"Ah." She nodded. "I wouldn't have wanted to move when I had my two either. Any idea what it is yet?"
"All the scans say male," he said with a beam. "Hopefully he'll look more like his momma. She's a beautiful lady."
"I saw her the day she was here with you," she offered, smiling at him. She clicked on the 'finalize this' button and watched it take. "There, starting the month after next, it'll go through on the first, Enamel." She looked at him. "I'll send this by courier so you don't have to worry or ride over there. How did you get here?"
"My bike. My friend Meg's a technophile. It's voice guided at the moment." She just gaped and he smirked at her. "That's why I let her handle my internet and online banking stuff."
She beamed at him. "You truly do have good and trustworthy friends. Where should we send things until you can go home?"
"Um, the Last Chance Garage. I'm staying with her family and friends."
"Oh, you know Xander?"
He shook his head. "Xander banks here?" She nodded, smiling at him. "Yeah, I'm staying with Xander. He's doing some deep tissue massages to help me when he can. He's got a burned hand. His father attacked him."
"Oh, that poor thing!" she cooed. "You tell him I said to get better and to call us. Is he fixing up some of that property he bought last year?"
"He's a softy and they've been doing some charitable donations and the like," he offered. "Throttle's family needed some stuff. They've recently told him to quit fussing and to quit doing it."
"Oh, that poor man. That's fine. Tell him to call us please. We should probably rearrange things again if it's going to continue anyway." He nodded. "Is there anything else I can do?"
"Can you get me about three hundred bucks so I can buy dinner?" She smiled and nodded, filling out a slip for that. "Thanks, ma'am."
"You're welcome, dear." She went to do that and then came back to tuck it into his pants pocket. "Come on, I'll help you back to your bike." She helped him up and she stroked his arm. "That's very soft."
"Xander and his adopted daughter Dawn found this great shampoo," he told her. "It's a wonderful thing." She smiled at him and walked him out. "Can you put my hands on the handlebars?" She nodded and did that. "Thank you, dear. Okay, bike, let's head back to the lair. Start please." She started and he smiled and nodded, heading off. He was pulling onto the street when he saw a ship coming in, looking confused. "Who could that be?" he muttered. He sped up a bit, heading into the back lot. "Okay, park." His bike slowed and parked in her normal spot. "Good job!" He got off and walked upstairs. "I can buy dinner," he called.
"Sure," Vinnie called back. "Call Chef Andy someone."
Enamel walked into the lounge. "Can't we have other food?"
Vinnie snorted. "Only when Xander cooks. It's the house rule," he offered smugly. "Whose ship?"
"Not a clue." He looked up as a bike started. "You can ride down. The kids aren't in the way." He flopped down. "Whenever we're ready for dinner." Vinnie nodded at that. Charley came up the stairs. "I've got dinner."
"I called and put in an order. You can pay Modo back," she offered, heading up the ramp. She saw a fair haired, light tan mouse standing up there looking around. "You could come down. Everyone else is inside and it's prettier at night."
"Sure." The mouse looked at her. "Who're you?"
"Charley Davidson," she said, shaking her hand. "I own the garage and Vinnie."
She smirked at her. "I heard about you and Victor. Congratulations." She walked down, her bike following. "Is there a good spot for her?"
"Sure. There's a garage at the other end of the house." She pointed. "Go down that ramp, bike. Bottom floor, all the way at the end." It revved and went that way carefully. She led the way into the lounge, flopping down beside Vinnie. "Hey."
He grinned at her and kissed her. "Racer's watching Vic."
"Good. He's a good uncle to our mayhem causer." The female chuckled. "So, which mouse are you?"
"Winch, the new ambassador. Where's everyone else?"
"Racer's in the library with Vic. Xander and Throttle were napping. Modo and Staff are out riding," Vinnie told her. "Rimfire and Dawn are at classes for the next hour."
"Cool." She sat down, looking at Enamel. "You're allowed to associate?"
"Yeah, he's our doc," Vinnie told her. "The only one down here who could handle Xander." He smirked at her. "Welcome to Earth. You know you're in the wrong city, right?"
She smirked and nodded. "I thought I'd check in and then head there. Someone named Micah said it wouldn't be a problem."
"He's in the garage using my office," Charley told her. "Stuff about Xander's injury."
"Yellow tagged burn on one hand," Enamel told her. She winced. "Very. The palm of his hand." He looked over as he heard dragging footsteps. "It's Winch."
"Hey," Xander said as he came up, leading Throttle up the stairs. "He's still mostly asleep," he told Charley as he put him down next to her. "I'm headed for the kitchen, anyone need anything? Winch, we're pretty informal and only Modo and Staff have manners."
She chuckled at that. "I like you already." She smiled at him. "If you've got anything with a sleep suppressant it'd be helpful. I left late last night."
"Sure." He went into the kitchen. "Anyone else?"
"I could use a rootbeer, bro," Vinnie called.
"Bring me a water, Xander," Charley called. "Get Throttle a soda too. He's snoring."
"He's a tired mouse." He came back with the drinks against his chest. "Grab a red can," he told her. She plucked one from his arm. "Thanks." He handed over the others and flopped down next to his mate, letting Tara cat curl up around the back of his head. "Hey, lovie," he cooed, reaching back to pet her with his good hand. "How're you?" She purred. "Good. We'll go get new litter later." She nibbled his hair then settled down.
"Sure, I'll get litter later," Vinnie agreed, popping his rootbeer. He looked at Winch. Then he looked next door. "Micah!" he yelled. Everyone flinched at that.
He walked up the ramp a few minutes later. "I heard her land. I was finishing a report to the president," he sighed, shaking her hand. "Welcome to Earth, Winch. I'm Micah Simms."
"And you're adorable," she offered with a grin. "You needed to give me a report on how things were down here?"
"That and make sure you're acclimating okay," he offered, taking his own seat. Xander tossed over Throttle's soda since there was no way he was waking up soon. "Thanks, kid." He looked at her. "Okay, what did you need to know?"
"The little connection things," she admitted, getting comfortable. "I'm sure everyone here already knows."
"They made them," Micah agreed. "Xander works for me now and then while being a construction foreman and crew chief. Dawn and Rimfire are totally mine outside of their classes. The guys here are handling the lone Plutarkian that's ventured outside of Siberia." He groaned. "The president said to drive them back but we're not allowed to overtly harm them since they're endangered species."
"Since when has he cared about endangered species?" Xander asked dryly before taking a drink.
"Since they give him money, Xander. If PETA gave him money like the Plutarkians did, he'd be anti-fur and meat too." He opened his and took a sip. "Money drives politics and politics drives the world."
"How many are left?"
"They *said* they had about a hundred left plus some offspring in tanks. We know the two Limburgers have escaped and come back here. They've already rumbled with him once."
"Twice. There was the minor assault at the college with his goons," Xander corrected. "He doesn't get anyone who's smart enough for self-action."
Micah nodded at that. "Twice then." He sipped his soda, looking at her. "There's a very select few who know you're down here and even less know they're down here. There are some people in the police department in Vegas who know about you. We had an incident where they found some mouse hairs at a crime scene from a visit a month prior and had to be told the minimal facts."
"That's fine. I can live with that." She opened her soda and took a drink, looking at it. "What is that?"
"Coke," Charley told her. "Caffeinated."
"I'm supposing that's good?"
"It's to keep you awake," Vinnie told her with a small grin. Modo and his lady rode up. "There you are. This is Winch. She's the new politician on the block."
"Welcome," Modo said, taking off his helmet and getting off his bike. He helped Staff off and put the bags on the table. Enamel wiggled up and Xander reached into his pocket, handing over a fifty. "Thanks, bros." He sat down, pulling his girl into his lap. "Why're you here instead of Vegas?"
"Because I needed to get briefed first and I figured you guys could do that," she admitted. "Plus, some technology I'm not familiar with." She pointed at the tv. "What's that?"
"The idiot box," Charley said dryly. "A tv," she said at the confused look. "This time of year, it's all crap on there though."
"That's fine. I've caught many radio broadcasts from Earth."
Vinnie picked up the stereo's remote and turned it on, then turned it down. "Our fav dj's on."
"Wonderful," she agreed, smiling at them. "I'm not mean, guys. I was one of you, remember?" Everyone awake nodded but Xander. "I'm not like the last guy. As far as I'm concerned, even half mice are okay, even one drop is good. All except that one half Plutarkian child and that just bothers me," she said honestly. "I'm definitely not against Xander and Throttle. I heard a lot about you two from Carbine and Stoker. And Stoker's kids," she admitted with a small grin. "Vic and Xander are more than Martian enough for me and I've been told about some of the things that Xander's done for Mars. If I could, I'd give you a medal." He shuddered. "Or not," she offered with a small grin. Throttle woke up with a snort. "Morning, sunshine."
"Winch," he said. He glared at her. "You're in the wrong city."
"I came to get briefed and informed on the technology front." She sipped her soda. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah, I had late night and dawn patrols to make sure Limburger isn't playing right now." He yawned and sat up, stretching. "Oh, I needed that nap." He looked at Xander, stealing a kiss and his soda. "Thanks, babe."
"Welcome." He snuggled into his side, taking his soda back once Throttle had a few good drinks. "You left me some, I'm impressed," he teased.
"I'll be spanking you for that later," he said dryly.
"Can I watch?" Charley asked. "I need to see how to control Vinnie sometimes."
"Sure, Charley girl. Of course, there might be naughtiness afterward." He heard the transporter go off and groaned. "We're up here!" Spike ran up the ramp and came to pounce Xander. Stoker and Chassis came after him. "Back again?" he joked.
"Well, yeah," Stoker admitted. "Escaping the shit on the council." He flopped down beside Modo on the floor, letting Chassis worm her way next to Xander. "Hey, Winch. This is our favorite vacation destination."
"That's fine. It's a great house."
"Xander built it," Micah said with a grin. "Designed it too."
"Then I'm doubly impressed. I can't pound a screw in straight or fix a circuit board."
Stoker snorted and looked at Xander. "We're all a bit impressed with him." He noticed the bandage. "What the cheese happened to you?"
"Burns." He held it up. "Dirtbag father came at me with a stun rod."
"He grabbed it, twice," Vinnie said proudly.
Stoker groaned. "Those you kick, Xander."
"Hey, I had to turn it off," he said dryly. "That was the second time." Stoker just rolled his eyes. "That's why I was here instead of moving bodies."
"That's fine. I wondered about that since no one saw you. I'll be shutting Carbine up later about it too," he muttered.
"'Scuse me?" Throttle demanded. "She said what?"
"Something about happy day trippers doing charity work."
Throttle got up. "I'll be right back." He went into the office and came out with the packet from the insurance company, heading back to Mars for a minute. He found Modo's momma arguing with Carbine anyway. "Don't argue with her, she's always right," he sneered, slapping the packet down. "Say one more damn word about my mate and I will roast your fucking tail," he snarled. She flinched and looked at him. "Xander is injured. He's got a very bad burn. I didn't allow him to come help." She backed away from him. "You want proof to stop this shit, it's in the envelope."
"Calm down, baby," Modo's momma soothed, pulling him into a hug. "Is he all right?"
"He's still got a burn. When he came back from talking to the paternal unit, he had a stab and a graze too," he said bitterly. He glared at Carbine. "Some people's shit needs to stop against him. Xander's nearly bankrupted himself to help Mars, including during that. Where do you think those extra supplies came from?" He turned to her. "What's going on, momma?"
"Where's Racer, dear?"
"Taking some lessons from Enamel since he came to help bandage during the refugees coming in," he said honestly. "Someone was supposed to call you." She gaped and he nodded. "He and Spike both. I went to relieve them at one point. Vinnie and I both did. He did a damn fine job, Momma. He'll make a good doc some day."
She sighed and nodded. "Where was he working?"
"Post op," Carbine offered. "I sent them through with the older mice to calm down. I thought you knew." She looked at Throttle. "He can't have."
"Bullshit." She flinched and backed up farther. "Leave my man alone, Carbine. I mean it." He walked Momma back through the transporter, taking her upstairs and into the study. "Hey," he said, patting Racer on the head. He and Vic were napping together. "Momma's here."
He swallowed and looked up at her. "Hi, Momma. Didn't anyone call you?"
"No, dear," she said patiently, picking him up to hug. "Are you all right?"
He nodded, pulling back to kiss her on the nose. "Uncle Xander and Enamel both helped me the next day, Momma. Uncle Xander got me calmed down and reasonable and Enamel's been teaching me stuff since then."
"Then I'm proud of you, boy, but next time call. You will be grounded because you didn't call at all. It's been a week!"
"Sorry, momma, I was gonna call tonight," he promised, looking miserable. "How long am I grounded for?"
"A week, to the house," she said, cuddling him. "It's only because you worried me, boy. I'm still very proud that you disobeyed orders to help, even though you're much too young." She walked him out, patting Spike on the head. "How long did you ground that one for?" she asked Stoker.
"Why would I have?" He watched as Xander slid into Throttle's lap to give Momma some space on the couch. "What did you do?" he asked his son.
"He and Racer came in to bandage," Enamel told him. "They demanded, Stoker. Racer demanded and Spike nodded to back him up. We put them in post op and rotated them with some of the healers and freedom fighters with a clue."
"I did a few hours with them," Throttle admitted. "I thought someone had called you, Momma, or I would have the next day."
"That's all right, dear. Racer knows enough to call me. He should have called the next morning." She patted his back, smiling down at him. "I'm still very proud of him." Racer beamed at her. "Of both of you, Spike. You did very good too, dear." Spike beamed at her.
Stoker looked down at his son. "I'm damn impressed," he offered. Spike beamed at him too. "You still get to tell your mother you did that though. She was worried sick that you were being exposed to some of the worst injuries."
"Seen worse," Spike admitted. He looked over as Vic crawled out, getting his devious look on his face. He pounced him, smirking down at him. "Hi, Vic."
"Baddy!" he said happily, patting him. "Go bye-bye?"
"His first sentence," Vinnie said proudly. "No, son, you can't go to Mars with Spike today." He grinned at his girl, pulling her into his lap. "He's a good boy part of the time."
"Tell that to my butt. He climbed in this morning and tried to nurse from it." She clapped her hands and her son squealed, coming over to hug her. "Good boy. Can you say more words?"
"Daddy!" he said proudly, beaming at Throttle and Xander.
"No, son, I'm Daddy," Vincent sighed, picking him up to cuddle. "I'm daddy."
"Poof," he said, kissing him on the nose. Then he grinned his most shit eating baby grin at him. "Poof poof go bye bye?"
"No, I'm not going anywhere either, son," he said, shaking his head. He elbowed Enamel when he started to laugh. "How many more months before we can get Xander to warp your kid?"
"Six," he said proudly.
"She is?" Stoker demanded, sitting up straighter. Enamel smirked and nodded. "Congratulations, doc. I still don't see what a nice lady like Shell sees in you, but you obviously did something right sometime."
"I can whip your tail," Xander hissed. "Leave Enamel alone!"
"Fine," he said, holding up a hand. "Sorry, Xander. I know the house rules."
"If he didn't insult me, I wouldn't know he wanted my tail," Enamel told him.
"Sorry, I'm not like that and if I was, it'd have to be someone like Modo. He'd have to be bigger than I am." Modo chuckled at that.
"I'm not sharing," Staff told him firmly, scowling at him. "Remember, Enamel will be delivering a lot of babies down here some day soon. So you might as well play nice with him. Otherwise you'll have to find another doctor to deliver your next one."
"Who'll be just like me," Xander promised, smirking at him. "Only gayer."
"Don't wish that on my kid," he whined. "Unless it's another girl, then she can be that swishy." Rimfire rode up and he looked at the duo. "Hey."
"Salutations," Dawn greeted. She grinned at everyone. "I passed the english test. There will be clubbing tonight by us. So we're grabbing and going."
"Homework?" Xander and Vinnie demanded.
"Chill! I've already done it." She rolled her eyes as she dismounted, then kissed Rimfire once they had their helmets off. "Tell 'em, babe."
Rimfire tossed something at Stoker. "I found a dissertation on how to do a mass greenhouse in the desert. Proven with test results included. The teacher I've got for Ag 1 did it. Low water, recycled system, and filters."
"Thanks, punk. This'll go over very well." He put it inside his shirt. "So, how are classes otherwise?"
"Boring," they said in unison.
"Been there, done that in history of the US, yet again," Dawn sighed. "But it's mandatory."
Xander shrugged. "Wish I could help you but it might add a new facet."
"It's the same book!" she complained.
"Did you tell the teacher that?"
She nodded. "He told me not to hand in the same papers." Everyone snorted at that. "Can I?"
"As long as you pass with a very good grade," Xander told her.
"No, that's cheating," Throttle said firmly.
"Actually, it's not. She did the work the first time. It's not like she bought the papers."
"You can buy papers?" Rimfire asked.
"Illegally," she said dryly.
"Ah." He nodded. "Okay then. I'll look there for more ag stuff, Stoker."
"That's fine, Rimfire." He looked at Dawn. "Do you have classes you *need* the extra time in?"
"I'm still being stumped by some of the Russian grammar issues I'm having," she admitted.
"You can cite the old reports, but you will at least rewrite them and make them better than your last ones," Throttle told her. "Otherwise I would consider that cheating and you will end up living in separate, noisy dorms."
She nodded. "That's fine, I can do that and expand. I usually had to cut down for page length anyway." He nodded that was acceptable. "We'll be at the normal spot. Can I wear the blue outfit?" Rimfire let out a growl. "Um, never mind. The stretchy blue one?" she asked with a cute grin.
"Dawn, since I can't throw you down and have you at the moment, maybe you should wear normal pants," Rimfire suggested patiently. "And a top that doesn't make you bounce that much." She pouted. "Babe, if you wear teasing stuff, I'll need you later. You said I can't."
"Point," she admitted. "Fine, I'll wear my green pants and black t-shirt. How about that?"
"Better. Not the leathers?" She shook her head. "Then I'm one happy mouse," he assured her. He pulled her into a deep kiss, with tongue. "After you're done, you can wear that blue outfit for me," he whispered. She smiled and tweaked him on the cheek before heading down to change. He calmed himself and then looked at everyone. "Sorry." He looked at his grandmother. "Hi, grandmomma. I see you finally found Racer."
"I told someone to call her that day," Enamel offered.
"Racer knew he was supposed to call himself," Rimfire told him. "We all have." Modo nodded at that, cracking Vinnie up at the look on his face. "Should I start finding medical texts for him?"
"He can borrow mine," Enamel promised him. "I've got a pretty comprehensive set." Rimfire nodded at that. "Are my two interns outside?" Rimfire nodded again. "Drinking?"
"Margaritas and lounging in the sun. I take it they're off today?" He nodded, rolling his eyes. "Should we force them to come with us?"
"No. It's fine," Enamel promised him. "Thanks anyway, Rimfire."
"I'd like to go," Chassis offered. "I wanted to take Stan out for a burger in thanks for the nice date the last time."
"Sure," Rimfire agreed. "Call the station first to make sure he's not working tonight." She nodded, going to hunt down the phone. She had his number on the card in her wallet. He looked around. "Anyone else? Winch? To get used to human style clubs?"
"I've got to be a bit more serious than that, Rimfire, but I thank you."
"Sure, not an issue." He headed down to change into something non-sweaty that might tease Dawn instead of her teasing him this time. He saw Chassis' frown. "He not in?"
"No, he's working tonight."
He put an arm around her shoulders. "They have this great stuff called take out down here," he offered dryly. "Where you pick stuff up and eat it somewhere away from the restaurant." She beamed at him. "Come on, I'll slip you some of my allowance. Speaking of. Dawn, did I get an allowance this week?"
"Yeah, babe. We'll have to hit the ATM." She came out of their room, grinning at him. "Working?" She nodded. "Come on. You can borrow clothes and a hoodie sweatshirt." She followed along, smiling at the young woman. "You really like Stan? He's a great guy. I had to help him a few times with some strange stuff."
"He's a really nice guy and he's got this *tongue*," she moaned. Dawn snickered and nodded. "You don't think there's anything wrong?"
"Why would I, sweetie. Look at who I'm mated to."
Chassis gave her a long stare. Then she opened the door. "Rimfire, why wasn't I invited to the bonding?" she demanded.
"That was the day of the Braveheart idiot, as Xander called him, who wanted us all to go back to clans."
"Ah. No wonder you were there. So when's the bonding?"
"Ask her," he said dryly. "Like Vinnie, I'm letting her decide that. We'll be up right before the holidays down here though, so maybe then." He shrugged and grabbed some clothes, heading into the bathroom.
"Dear, if you wear those, I'll have to jump you," Dawn complained.
"Good. About time," he joked. "You do it to me every time we go out, it's my turn, baby." He winked and slipped into the bathroom, kicking Vic and Spike out since they were playing with the water. "And I thought the twin menaces were bad," he muttered as he stripped off.
Chassis walked up to the front desk at the station, smiling at the woman standing there. "Hi, I brought food for Kowalski?"
"Detective Kowalski or DA Kowalski since she's up there?" the woman asked.
"Stanley." She got a funny look and shrugged, grinning a bit. "Tell him it's Chassis."
"Sure, Miss. Wait there." She went to make the call and within half a minute heard running footsteps down the stairs. "Well, that's interesting," she noted quietly to her coworker, Ray's sister.
"Hmm. Ray said she knows that Xander guy," she admitted. They shared a look.
Stan pounced her, hugging her. "Hey, Chassis. Give me ten minutes to do something and I can head out for lunch. Wanna come up and wait?"
"Sure." She smiled and handed over the bag. "Rimfire and Dawn suggested I go here for takeout."
"It's all good to me," he offered with a grin, walking her up the stairs. Vecchio looked up. "This is Chassis," he introduced. "That's Ray, he knows Xander."
"Dawn said she had helped you a few times," she offered, sitting down in the chair he pointed out. "No criminals like on Law and Order?" she teased, pouting a bit.
"Earlier. That's why I didn't get lunch and haven't made it home yet." He grinned at her and sat down to finish the report he was working on, then tossed it at his boss's office door. "Come on, let's go."
"I brought my bike. I can follow wherever you wanted to eat. The park, the lakeside, anywhere."
He beamed. "The park's great." She waved at Ray and followed him out. He had to come back up for the food, but then went out to his car. "Do you know the way?"
"Sure do. Rimfire told me where to hit for the park the last time I was in." He grinned at that. "I'll still follow you. You're cute to follow behind and watch." He blushed and ducked into his car. She got onto her bike and started it, heading after him.
"Well," Frannie said from the doorway, smirking as the pair left. "They're adorable!" Ray coughed from behind her. "Are you done yet? We'll be late for dinner."
"Sure. Let me get my jacket. Do not tell Ma. Not until he does. There's stuff you don't know about that group."
"You mean like Xander's big mouse and Ma knows?" Ray stopped and stared at her, mouth open. "Ma asked if I knew anything about the big mice in the city. She saw the one who followed you home, which I'm supposing is Xander. Then she saw one riding the other day while we were out shopping with Maria. Maria told her they're massive good guys in costumes. I told her they weren't costumes, their tails waved."
"Frannie, don't you even think about getting involved."
"So, who are they?" she asked with a sweet grin. "Or you might want to tell Ma before she asks you. I think she was about to tonight. Especially if someone sees the adopted son with that one."
Ray moaned and headed back to his desk to take something for his headache. But he did grab his jacket. You didn't keep his mother holding dinner without a very good reason. He came out to drive her home, sighing in misery. By the time he got home, he was still trying to think up a good lie. Frannie walked in and Ma grinned and hugged her. She gave Ray a knowing look. Ray looked at his mother, seeing the devious look. "What?" He mentally winced.
"You know about those nice mice, caro. I'm sure all the police do," she said, leading him into the living room and closing the door. "You will tell me. Father Behan saw Stanley with one the last time he saw him. They were going out for breakfast and she looked rumpled according to the Father." She sat down next to him and patted his hand, smiling at him. "So tell your Ma all about it, Raimundo."
He groaned and shook his head. "Ma, it's a long story and I can't," he told her. "It's not my story to tell and there's security issues involved and all sorts of things. I wish I could."
"Dear, you can. I will tell no one," she promised.
"Ma! I could lose my job!"
She patted his cheek. "Poor caro. Are they human?" He shook his head. "No?" He shook his head again. "Then it must truly be love for Stanley to rumple her that way."
"She just showed up to bring him dinner, Ma. Everyone thinks they're cute together."
"Then it's only right he bring her over to meet me," she said firmly.
"Ma, he can't. There's some serious security issues here. Like guys in Fed suits security issues. Worse than the FBI that time I went undercover issues."
She snorted. "They do not bother ones like me, caro. Who believes foolish old women?" She got up and hauled him up. "Come, it's time for dinner. We will call Stanley later and have him bring her over for coffee. She is female?"
"Yeah. Her name's Chassis, Ma," he sighed, shaking his head. This was a bad idea. He knew this was a bad idea. Someone had reported that Simms guy was back in town to his lieutenant. This was going to get him fired. He knew it was. He sat down, said Grace, then got up to take an antacid first. He'd need the whole roll tonight.
"Caro, call Stanley and tell him to come for dessert," she ordered.
"Yes, Ma," he sighed. He took his plate with him, he had to call Xander first and warn him. If Simms was in town, he'd be there somewhere. He tried the garage, then the number Xander had given him. He got a giggling teenager. "Dawn?" She agreed. "It's Ray Vecchio. You know Chassis' down here, right? Well, Ma wants to meet her. Yeah, like tonight. Anything we can't do?" He winced. "That's what I thought you'd say. I can't tell my mother no. No good Italian boy can." He snorted. "He's my next call. I was trying to get Xander. Thanks." He hung up and called Stanley. "Ma wants to meet your girl tonight for dessert but we're not sure about the security risks. Dawn's getting Xander and that Simms guy involved since he's in town. Sure. Dessert? We just sat down, Stanley. Fine. Sure." He hung up and went back there. "They're deciding if we can have her over, Ma. The security guy over them is in town. If he says no, there's no way."
The house phone rang and he got up to get it. "Vecchio." He listened. "No, my Ma. Someone told her they saw Chassis and Stanley Kowalski together." He groaned. "Fine. No, no, that's fine. Sure, this weekend's good. Thanks, man. No, I called Stan to warn him. I can tell him that." He grinned. "Sure. I figured you might. Yeah, that's him. Thanks, sir." He hung up. "Ma, no go, but we can go over for snacks and tea on Sunday after church," he called, heading back to the table. She was frowning. "Ma, they've got to make sure we can clear security first," he soothed. "They did say you and I and Stan could go." She nodded at that. "They'll deal with the rest of the family after that, once you clear her."
"Of course. That's only proper," she agreed. "I should meet the new daughter-in-law first."
"Ma, they were so cute," Frannie told her with a grin. "Stan was bouncing hard when he heard it was her. He *ran* down those stairs to come get her. Brought her upstairs and everything." Her mother smiled at that.
"Who's this new girl?" Maria demanded. "Why can't we all meet her tonight?"
"You remember those bikers we saw at the store?" Frannie asked. Maria nodded. "She's one of them."
"A biker?" Tony, Maria's husband, demanded.
"Very polite bikers," Ray assured him, sounding tired. "I've met most of the family over the last year. They're good guys. Xander's helped me in the past on some things. Dawn's helped both of us with some strange stuff too. They're nice people and one of them likes to talk about his Ma all the time." Ma looked impressed at that. "So, Sunday after church, probably around two. That good for you, Ma?"
"Just fine, caro. Will the others be there?" He nodded. "The whole family?"
"I'm not sure about the family structure, Ma. I'm not the one to ask. She might be related to Vinnie or Xander by her coloring."
"Yeah, was one of them really pale?" Maria asked. Ray nodded. "Then there was the tanned guy and then some guy that almost looked gray with metal parts."
Ray groaned and held his head. "No more. Not until everything clears, people. I'm not risking time in prison over this discussion."
"Yes, Ray," Maria sighed, shaking her head. "How long after Sunday can we meet her?"
"I don't know," he told her. "Not a clue. Ask then." She nodded, dropping it. He dug in, eating heartily, because he knew he wasn't going to be eating much between now and then. This was going to be so bad. Just so wrong!
To Part 64